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Let Me Do It

14 Sep

Waiting for a friend, I watched a rambunctious little girl at the mall, obviously in the throes of stubborn independence. Everything was “no” this and “no” that. Then suddenly, she took advantage of her mom’s focus at a kiosk to reach up, grab the handlebar of the baby stroller and take off running.

HatchingAPlan“I do it! I do it,” she yelled with glee.

The mom, clearly upset, chased her daughter as the little rebel barely missed hitting a couple. The baby in the stroller woke up and started crying.

“No, Emi. Stop,” the mom yelled.

It’s amazing how a little one can run. The mom caught up with her daughter, swept her off her feet and plopped her down on a mall bench. I watched as she emphatically explained to little Emi why running off with the stroller was wrong and even dangerous. Emi wasn’t ready to listen.

“Look at me,” the mom said.

The little girl never actually looked her mom squarely in the eyes. She sort of glanced sideways at her. And I thought I saw an impish smile … a plan hatching.

Believing she had won, her mom turned back to shopping.

“I do it. I do it!” The little rebel was off and running as the baby in the stroller wailed in protest.

Poor mom. It was going to be a long day.

Aside from my own thoughts about parenting that day—how I might have handled the situation and stubborn child differently—my mind drifted back to my own childhood.

That phrase “I do it” reminded me of an attitude-altering story.

I won a sewing contest in grade school. The Sears store near our home in Chicago sponsored the contest, and winners in different categories also had to model their creations in a store fashion show. My peach-colored dress and short cape, all edged in peach and turquoise floral trim, was cheerful and elegant (lovely for Easter).

I won … But I wasn’t happy at all.

You see, while I was sewing the garment, my mom repeatedly took the material out of my hands. “Here, let me do it,” she’d say. I stood by her at the machine with a frustrated frown.

When the outfit was completed, I figured Mom had sewn most of it. She deserved the prize, not me.

[I wonder how many children feel the same way when moms or dads take school projects out of their hands. And yes, I was guilty of that … surprising, considering my own story.]

After the fashion show, I was determined not to let ANYONE take things out of my hands. My “I do it” spirit was alive and thriving. I just didn’t make a big deal out of it. When people offered to help, I responded with an simple, “No, thanks.” It wasn’t that I thought I could do better; I just wanted control.

Even if I failed, I wanted to be in charge.

Although I had prayed for wisdom as a young girl, I wasn’t willing to listen to anyone’s advice. I didn’t have a teachable spirit. I was proud and stubborn.

Outwardly I cooperated. Inwardly, not so much. It was like the little boy who, told to sit down, obeyed. But he told his mama, “I’m standing up on the inside!”

I was acting like the Israelites in the Old Testament. They proved over and over again the foolishness of their obstinance and disobedience; and under the law, this stubbornness was a serious matter (Deuteronomy 17:12Zechariah 7:11-12).

It’s still a serious matter; but I am so thankful for the grace of God. I’m glad for the covering of Jesus for my sins—including stubbornness.

For so long, God wanted full control of my life, and I resisted Him. It was like I wanted salvation; I even said, “Jesus is Lord.” But the truth was, I thought I could run my own life.

I’m glad God showed me my heart after I joined a revival team in my early 20’s. One day, listening to a revival message on stubbornness, I was deeply convicted of my secret rebellious attitude (1 Samuel 15:23a). (Yes, even a “good girl” can be stubborn and rebellious in her heart.) And I discovered stubbornness is linked to a “stiff-necked” lack of belief (2 Kings 17:14).

How? When we are stubborn against our Father’s will for us, we don’t believe He knows best.

That day, it was as if the Lord was saying to me: “Here, my child … let Me do it. Let me have control. Let Me change your life. Let me live out My life in and through you.”

My heart broke and I stopped resisting.

The years of “Leave me alone; I can do it” arrogance melted away in sweet surrender to the Sovereign Lord.

I determined to follow Christ (Matthew 16:24-27) with a teachable spirit (Psalm 25:5; 86:11). And I discovered a powerful truth: when we surrender everything to Him (our plans, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, frustrations, habits—everything), He can run our lives infinitely better than we can.

How foolish to resist His loving guidance and help.

There may be an area of your life where the Lord is whispering, “I care and I want to help you. Will you let Me do it? Will you trust me with your heart?”

How will you respond?

– Dawn

Photo adapted, Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fixin’ What’s Broken

31 May

I’m smiling over this “broken” humor:

Question: What did the bird say after his cage broke? Answer: “Cheap! Cheap!”

Question: What do you give a bird with a broken beak? Answer: Tweetment!

Question: What did the broken pencil say? Answer: “Well, this is pointless!”

Question: What were Tarzan’s words when he broke his leg? Answer: “Who greased that blasted VINE?”

LOL!

My Grandpa Webb was a pro at “fixin’ what’s broken.” He had a toy workshop in his basement, but he sure knew how to fix things. Maybe I learned my desire to fix broken things from him.

Actually, I don’t call it fixin’ … I call it redeeming.

RedSparkleBlouseI have a favorite red, t-shirt-type blouse with butterfly sleeves. As happens with many of my blouses, when the material rubbed against the button on my jeans, it wore a hole there. It was much loved, so I couldn’t just throw it out. Instead, I “redeemed” the shirt (pictured to the left) by using fabric glue to add little “sparkles” across the shirt. One of them covered the hole. It’s beautiful now, and often complimented!

Some friends turn “shabby” things into chic décor for their homes. That’s redeeming “stuff.” I have friends who have rescued dogs and other animals, and they are much loved pets. That’s redeeming animals.

According to an old story, in Japan around the 15th century an emperor took some damaged pots with visible cracks and ordered repairs. He asked the artisans to use gold lacquer to fill in all the cracks. He Brokenness_Kintsugi-Bowlacknowledged the brokenness, but did something more. He understood the beauty that was possible if he redeemed the cracked pots. (Today, that practice is called Kintsugi.)

I’ve been thinking about that today. I know all of us bear the brokenness of sin. In ourselves, we are deeply and hopelessly damaged. We are “cracked pots.”

But God, our Creator, is also the Redeemer.

To “redeem” in the Bible is to buy back. God’s desire is to buy us back from the destructiveness of sin and eternal death – and give us His righteousness and eternal life. He loves to redeem and repair broken people, and He wants to redeem what the enemy, Satan, has stolen. Sin causes tremendous havoc in our lives, and God wants to redeem us from it all. We can become beautiful because of His grace – new creations to the praise of His glory.

It’s all possible because Jesus paid the price for our redemption.

Scripturally, here’s what that looks like:

So many times, we want God to fix our brokenness, but we won’t give our lives over to His control and care. It’s so foolish … remember, God wants to transform our brokenness into beauty.

Maybe we don’t even realize we’re broken. But how else can we account for the constant “leaking” in our lives? The sense that something is missing … the pain … the lack of purpose?

When we come to the end of ourselves, God is waiting. But how much wiser to acknowledge our brokenness and come running to Him. He alone can fix our spiritual brokenness.

Friend, have you brought your brokenness to God?

If you do not know Him, if you know your soul is broken, here is a suggested prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I know that I am a hopeless sinner and I do not deserve eternal life. But, I believe You died and rose from the grave to make me a new creation and to prepare me to dwell in Your presence forever. Jesus, I respond to Your invitation and I ask You to come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins and save my life – redeem my utter brokenness and separation from You. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation and I accept Your free gift of eternal life. Thank You, God, for redeeming me.” Amen.

And if you do know Jesus, but you sense a need for God to reawaken your heart, you might want to pray this prayer (with me) today:

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for redeeming me. Thank You for rescuing me and making me a new creation. Today I sense that You want to draw me to Yourself and heal the areas that are still broken because of my foolish, sinful choices. I need spiritual brokenness over my daily sin. I grieve over its presence in my life. I come to You today in repentance and confession of specific sins. I ask you to awaken and revive my heart. Thank You for working in my life every day to make me more like You, Jesus.” Amen.

Friend, how is God working in your life to redeem what the enemy has stolen? How is He redeeming your sinful choices? Are you hungry for more of Him today?

 – Dawn

 

 

 

A ‘Come-to-Jesus Meeting’

3 Jun

Trevor Lund, an encouraging pastor who I (Dawn) follow on Twitter and through his Computer Parts in Boxnewsletters, tells this  funny story about his daughter, Taiessa, when she was young:

Taiessa was just over two-and-a-half. She and I were downstairs in the crawl space looking through some boxes. She asked me what was in one of the boxes.

“That’s a box of computer stuff.” I stated.

“My puter?” she said, missing the first syllable.

“COM-puter,” I said stressing the part of the word she missed. “Say, COM-puter.”

COM-puter, COM-puter, COM-puter,” she repeated with perfect syntax.

I was just starting to congratulate myself for correcting her vocabulary so easily when she turned to me and said:

“Daddy, my puter’s not coming! *

LOL!

I think that my computer’s not obedient sometimes, too! In fact, if you’re like Pam and me, you have a love/hate relationship with your computer. The last time my computer was in the process of crashing, I tried coaxing it ~ “Come on … come to Mama … behave … you can do it.” My computer failed to cooperate and I had another expensive “fix” with a technician. I ended up totally frustrated and close to tears, because my computer did NOT come to Mama!

I know that there are days that I must make God grieve because I will not “come” to Him. He has such great plans for me, but I will not respond with a yielded heart. I go my own way, independent and uncooperative, and I ultimately “crash.”

Truth be told, there are days that I make God grieve. Yes, God gets sad. He grieves over the sins of His people.

Do you know how I know? Jesus, the Son of God, wept over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). It is one of the most touching scenes in the Scriptures. Imagine a strong man weeping. Imagine God weeping. It reveals His heart, doesn’t it?

I read that when Jesus wept Continue reading

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